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Facebook Messenger limits forwarding to five people or groups at a time

Facebook has announced an update to Messenger, which will limit a user’s ability to forward messages to up to five people or groups at a time.

The company says that they’re taking this step to reduce the spread of misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic and also aid the social networks efforts to reduce inauthentic behaviour on the platform as elections in US, New Zealand, among other countries approach.

“As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide people with a safer, more private messaging experience, today we’re introducing a forwarding limit on Messenger, so messages can only be forwarded to five people or groups at a time. Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content that has the potential to cause real world harm,” announced Jay Sullivan, Director of Product Management, Messenger Privacy and Safety.

Last week, the company announced that Facebook News will be debuting in India, Brazil, UK, Germany and France. The tool was launched in USA last year and showcases news coverage from major publications including Bloomberg, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Forbes, The Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, The Wall Street Journal, among several others.

According to Facebook, their News tool has helped the publishers drive more traffic to their websites.

Earlier this year, in April, Facebook-owned Whatsapp was also updated with a similar limit on forwarding, which was limited to a single user at a time.The change was first tested in India for six months, where — according to the company — users forward significantly more messages and media, and was rolled out earlier this year.

Following this update, Whatsapp saw a decline in the total messages forwarded globally by 25 percent and the company will be expecting similar results to follow after the update to Messenger rolls out globally.

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